Should I get a flu vaccination?
Yes. The Ministry of Health suggest that almost everyone* can benefit from the protection of an annual Flu Vaccination.
*A small number of people, such as those who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccine previously or those who have a severe allergy to chicken proteins, should not be vaccinated without first consulting a doctor.
Isn’t the flu just a bad cold?
No. A cold virus only affects the nose, throat and upper chest and lasts for a few days, whereas influenza, commonly called the flu, can be a serious illness that affects the whole body and can last a week or more. The flu can lead to a stay in hospital for any age group but particularly if you are elderly or have an ongoing medical condition. The flu can make an existing medical condition, such as asthma or diabetes, worse.
I’m healthy and I had one last year, do I really need it?
Every year the flu virus changes. Scientists from the World Health Organisation find the three or four strains of flu they believe will be the most widespread for the coming winter and use them to develop the flu vaccine for that year. The flu spreads easily and even if you’re healthy, your family, friends and co-workers may not be. Be a flu fighter and protect yourself plus lessen the chance of bringing it home to a baby, older relative or someone with a medical condition who could develop serious complications.
Can the flu vaccine give me the flu?
You can’t get influenza from the vaccine. It’s made up of dead flu viruses. Since they aren’t live, you can’t catch the flu from them. When you get the vaccine, your body learns what the flu looks like, so it can fight the illness. It takes about 2 weeks for your body to be ready to fight.